Art Therapy Northern Programme

Two courses and a range of research opportunities are provided by the Art Therapy Northern Programme.

Many people well known in art therapy in Britain helped develop the original courses: Dave Edwards, Helen Greenwood, John Henzell, David Maclagan, Professor Joy Schaverien and Dr Chris Wood all worked with Nick Howard to establish the courses at the University of Sheffield. You can find out more about our staff team here.

The MA Art Psychotherapy Practiceeveryone_the_best

This is the pre-registration course needed for practice as an Art Psychotherapist or an Art Therapist in the UK.

The most important aim of the course is to develop your confidence and expertise in providing art therapy for people with different emotional and mental health needs. Many art therapy clients are socially excluded and so you will learn to become a practitioner who can contribute to future service and independent provision by working alongside clients making changes in their lives.

The Foundation Course in Art Therapy


This course is designed to provide an introduction to art therapy for people intending to train as art psychotherapists and those who wish to gain some experience of art therapy for their own personal or professional development.

We believe that art making within a therapeutic relationship can have the power to help a wide range of people. Art therapy aims to help people find the words to describe their distress and regain a sense of personal control. Human difficulty seems to us to be shaped by a world that includes social inequality and discrimination and attending to the effects of these is a necessary part of the art therapist's work.

We also aim to listen to the voice of people who use services in developing a collaborative approach to therapeutic work and mental health.

The art therapy courses are based on a partnership between Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust and Leeds Beckett University. The research opportunities involve a range of local universities. The Art Therapy Northern Programme has a number of innovative features which build upon more than twenty-five years' experience of higher education, research and practice in art therapy.


We take applications for Art Therapy Northern Programme courses throughout the year, aiming to provide interviews on one day each month. Offers are made either for the coming academic year or for the next one depending on the places available. We encourage applicants to apply early because we receive a lot of applications for places.

Further information

‘Art Psychotherapist’ and ‘Art Therapist’ are the protected titles for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council; both titles describe the same professional practice. It is not possible to practice legally without a qualification and without registration with the HCPC.

Please send applications to the following email:

Research opportunities: Higher Research Degrees

In addition to the courses above, opportunities exist for art therapists and art psychotherapists with established clinical experience to undertake a higher research degree including Doctor of Philosophy-PhD, Master of Philosophy-MPhil and Masters by Research-MRes.